Student Safety Action Plan Update February/March 2017
To: Hartford Board of Education Members
From: Acting Superintendent, Leslie Torres-Rodriguez, Ed.D
Date: March 24, 2017
Subject: Feb / March OCA Action Plan Update
As promised when the OCA Report was released just over a month ago, I have taken swift action in response to the findings and the recommendations. As part of the HPS Action Plan developed in response to the OCA Report, we have implemented many steps including district-wide training around mandated reporting requirements, improved systems to document and review complaints and systems review to ensure accountability at every level of the organization.
Attached please find a week-by-week overview of the steps we have taken [February 10, 2017 – March 10, 2017.]
In implementing the HPS Action Plan, we are organizing the work around 5 major areas of focus:
o Policy and Compliance
o Human Resources and Labor
o Special vulnerability of children with disabilities to possible abuse or neglect.
o Professional Development Programming and Training
o Family and community partnerships
As noted, we will work with an Independent Monitor who will hold the district accountable for implementing the HPS Action Plan and will provide progress reports to stakeholders and the community. I have had conversations with Child Advocate Sarah Eagan on the characteristics of an effective monitor, the role of and recommendations for a monitor and have reached out to several possible candidates to explore compatibility with and interest in the role. We hope to have the prospective Independent Monitor identified very soon.
We will also work with external providers and partners to support the implementation.
I would like to acknowledge several community organizations who are assisting with two our community forums: An Information Session with the Office of the Child Advocate and the Acting Superintendent on March 23 (Milner School) and April 6 (JMA) from 5:30-7:00pm and Community Conversations on preventing child abuse and neglect to be held March 30 (Bulkeley High School) and April 20 (Hartford Public High School) from 5:30-7:30pm. These community partners include: Hartford Parent University, The Village for Families and Children, The Lighthouse Project at Rawson, Voices of Women of Color, Children’s Advocacy Center at St. Francis Medical Center, Catholic Charities, Institute for the Hispanic Family, Padres Abriendo Puertas, COMPASS Youth Collaborative, Boys and Girls Club of Hartford, City of Hartford Office of Community Engagement, UConn Center for Health Disparities, Blue Hills Civic Association, Upper Albany NRZ, Girls For Technology and others who support the students and families in the district.
Family, student and community engagement will be embedded in all that we do – gathering input from our communities, providing information during implementation, providing opportunities for student voice, working with our partners, hosting forums and ongoing communication.
Finally, while our focus is on implementing the HPS Action Plan, we must not see this as a mere compliance of the action steps – we must use this as an opportunity to learn from the reviews and process improvements recommended to take steps toward organizational redesign – only then will we see the type of cultural and systemic improvements we need.
I will continue to provide updates to you and the community. Thank you for your support.
Leslie Torres-Rodriguez, Ed.D.
Hartford Public Schools
960 Main Street
Hartford, CT 06103
Fax (860) 722-8502